WPY 2018

Photograph Details

Highly commended 2018

Plants and Fungi

Stefano Baglioni, Italy

A Rock in a Hard Place

With temperatures topping 40 degrees Celsius that day, the ground was scorching as Stefano knelt to set up his camera. He had decided to stop just as the Sun set over the parched plains of Coahuila. As the soft light enhanced the form and colour of this unusual plant, Stefano saw ‘a rose emerging from the white soil’.

This rare and slow-growing cactus, Ariocarpus kotschoubeyanus, is difficult to spot in the alluvial plains of Mexico. During the rainy season it can even become submerged for days. Yet once the water recedes, its delicate mauve blossoms create a splash of colour on the ground. So attractive are the blooms that the species is now under threat from over-collection.

Technical specification

Nikon D800 + 105mm f2.8 lens; 1 sec at f16; ISO 100; Gitzo tripod + Manfrotto head


Coahuila, Mexico: latitude 25.677214, longitude -101.76716 Coahuila, Mexico: latitude 25.677214, longitude -101.76716

Coahuila, Mexico

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Stefano Baglioni

Stefano Baglioni, Italy

Stefano started taking nature photographs in 2006. He focuses on animals and plants in their wild habitats, during particular moments of their lives.

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